Residents living near a County Durham major road have hit out at the council over inaction to address a junction where they have witnessed a number of accidents – including one fatality.

People living near the A690 turn-off onto Pittington Road, West Rainton, have branded the junction as “dangerous” after multiple crashes at the location.

Alan Lowery lives opposite the junction, which he says gives him the “perfect location” for the “daily carnage” at the crossing point.

The Northern Echo late last year reported on an accident at the junction which resulted in the air ambulance being called to the scene and one man being taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The Northern Echo: The scene after the crash on December 23, 2022 Picture: ANDREW BROWNThe scene after the crash on December 23, 2022 Picture: ANDREW BROWN (Image: Picture: ANDREW BROWN)

Earlier in the summer of 2022 there had been a crash at the same junction, this resulting in the “needless death of a young mother” according to Mr Lowery.

Read more: A690 crash: Police provide update after air ambulance called to scene

The real-estate agent has since been campaigning for action to be taken at the junction in an effort to reduce accidents.

Other residents are also behind the efforts with a petition being started currently sitting at over 3,500 signatures.

Mr Lowery said the dispute has been 10 years in the making and he argues that he is no further forward.

He said: “I mean it’s been going on for probably 10 years now this, it’s all linked to this planning application which is on the other side of the A690 where we are to put traffic lights in.

The Northern Echo: Alan LoweryAlan Lowery (Image: Picture: THE NORTHERN ECHO CONTRIBUTOR)

“But that’s been going on for 10 years now and the council are hoping that it’s going to be paid by the developers.

Mr Lowery has been talking with Dave Lewin, head of highways at Durham County Council who told him that the council are in discussion with developers.

Mr Lowery added: “They’ve been saying that for years and nothing ever comes from that.

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“So you’re just at stalemate with them and they’re not prepared to do absolutely anything at all.”

He continues to argue that many drivers do not understand how to negotiate the junction due to no clear road markings.

Mr Lowery has called on the council to implement traffic lights at the junction along with clear road markings for the central reservation.

He added: “How many more incidents need to take place before Durham County Council takes action to save lives? Something needs to be done now.”

Mr Lowery’s neighbour, Neil Kell has also expressed his concern over the junction, writing a number of letters to councillors and MP Mary Foy.

Mr Kell sent a letter outlining his concerns over the junction after the death of the driver in July 2022.

He said in the letter: “I have written to you on several occasions requesting that you address the serious safety concerns relating to the junction of Pittington Road and the A690.

“The last letter I sent to you was in October 2017 and you didn’t even have the decency to acknowledge receipt, let alone respond.

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“I warned you that it was only a matter of time before a fatal incident occurred.  You ignored my warnings and took no account of what any reasonable person would determine to be a likely outcome.  This driver’s death was completely predictable and wholly avoidable”

“I was out when the accident occurred on Saturday.  Normally I am the first person on the scene.  If I am honest, I am tired now of reporting accidents, helping people out of mangled vehicles, directing traffic and calming down angry drivers.

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“You can solve this problem right now and save some other poor family from enduring the grief that this driver’s relatives are experiencing right now.”

Mark Jackson, Durham County Council’s head of transport and contract services, said: “We have been working to develop a scheme to install traffic lights at both the West Rainton and the Pittington Road junctions.

“We are currently progressing the design and developing a programme which we will provide details of in due course.”